Tuesday, November 1, 2011

News and Info

Barnes and Noble Book Fair

With short notice, and a buzz around New York Times best selling author Rick Riordan coming to Barnes and Noble, Burlington, Robyn Ferrazzani, our Library Media Specialist, again worked her magic coordinating the Second Annual Parker Book Fair on October 4th. It was a great turn out, with students and teachers from all grades attending. In addition to the book fair, Parker students participated in an art/essay contest with the grand prize being a meet and greet with Rick Riordan himself. Parker students won the contest, and 40 students had an opportunity to meet and talk to author Rick Riordan about writing, middle school, and what inspires him to write. The exchange he had with our students was quite impressive. Take a look below:

Art work submitted by Mia Lambroff that helped us win the opportunity to see Rick Riordan.

You can see our model readers Carolyn Lovvoll, Samantha Stuart, Maeve Keane, and Christina O’Connor. This year we again had the student band ‘The Cliff’ perform seen above are front man Hunter Lambroff, with Cam Dieselman on keyboards, Al Garbarino on drums and lead guitarist not present in the shot above was Jake Rhodes.

District Happenings

The Reading Coalition Against Substance Abuse (RCASA), Reading Public Schools, Reading Police Department and Town of Reading hosted the third community dialogue on substance abuse and violence on Tuesday, October 18th. The forum featured a panel discussion with a member of Middlesex District Attorney’s office, RCASA Executive Director Erica McNamara, Police Chief James Cormier, and Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Doherty. The discussion was led by Town Manager Peter Hechenbleikner. The focus of the forum was to present information learned from the previous two forums held on September 21st and October 6th, as well as, to listen to members of the community about possible ideas to address substance abuse and violence. There were 160 members of the community present for the forum including students, parents, teachers and administrators. The fact that these discussions have drawn so many members of the community is a testament to the commitment to address these difficult issues. For more information about next steps and happenings in the district please click on http://readingsuperintendent.wordpress.com to view Pathways the Official Blog of the Reading Public Schools.

Parker Middle School’s 2nd Annual - Hero’s Among Us Award!

On Friday, October 14, 2011, student leaders at Parker Middle School presented the second annual Parker Hero’s Among Us Award, to the Chief of Police, James Cormier and to the Fire Chief, Greg Burns. What makes this award special is that students decide who is most deserving in the community to receive the award. The award was created by the Parker Peer Leaders to recognize a person (or persons) in the community who makes a difference in the lives of students. The presentation ceremony was planned and hosted by 8th grade student leaders Cate Halley, Samantha Stuart and Maeve Keane.

(Appearing from left to right) Police Chief James Cormier, 8th Grade Peer Leaders Maeve Keane, Samantha Stuart,
Catherine Halley, Fire Chief Greg Burns and Principal Doug Lyons

The students wrote the following notable excerpts in their presentations:

Do you know what a hero is? Many people can be considered a hero; whether it is just a simple act of kindness or a great deed. Many heroes don’t know that they are making a big impact on people. The Peer Leaders thought hard about this award this year, and decided that the two people who have very difficult jobs, and at times don’t always see the good they do should be honored. This year’s Parker Hero’s Among Us Award goes to Police Chief James Cormier and Fire Chief Greg Burns.

In preparing for this presentation we interviewed Chief Cormier and learned that there are hard parts to his job. He is ‘the boss’ for many different people and his job comes with public expectations, like being out in the community attending functions. He has to stay on top of every problem so that the community is safe. Informing and explaining to the public what is happening, coordinating with other Massachusetts Police Departments is not an easy job. A main reason we thought Chief Cormier is a hero is because he has bravery risking his life everyday and his commitment to keeping us safe!

Chief Cormier grew up in Reading attending the Pearl Street elementary school before it was converted to senior living. He even attended Parker Middle School and then went on to RMHS. In 1983 he joined the Reading Police Department. He lives in Reading now with his wife and two (2) children.

The second honoree this year, Chief Burns is always on call. When he goes to bed at night he has to always be ready to rush out the door and go if anyone needs him, while we sleep soundly in our beds. Chief Burns is selfless and cares about others more than himself. He would go into a burning building and jeopardize his life in order to save someone. What courage that is to be so brave to take action like that.

Chief Burns also grew up in Reading attending the Pearl Street elementary school for 1st and 2nd grades. He then attended Killam elementary school, Coolidge middle school and then on to RMHS. He still lives in Reading today with his wife and two (2) children. Chief Burns wanted to be a firefighter because he wanted a challenge and wanted to be outdoors. He tries his best to offer the most programs on fire prevention safety as possible.

Many heroes do not consider themselves to be a hero. A hero in real life isn’t the one who saves the princess from being locked away in a castle. A true hero is one who puts others before themselves and goes out of their way to make sure everyone is safe. For Chief Cormier and Chief Burns, that is a daily thing. They are true heroes!

Cate Halley, Maeve Keane and Samantha Stuart
8th Grade Peer Leaders at Parker Middle School

Parker PTO Parent Presentation on November 9th at 7:00 p.m.

On Wednesday, November 9th, Sara Burd the District Behavioral Health Coordinator will be at Parker to talk to the parents during the regularly scheduled PTO meeting at 7:00 p.m. Sara will discuss the district behavioral health guidelines, as well as, the importance of behavioral health and wellness on student learning.

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